Monday, 22 October, 2018


Vets' home hearing on Legionnaires' nearly underway

Vets' home hearing on Legionnaires' nearly underway Vets' home hearing on Legionnaires' nearly underway
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 18:07

I've also reviewed the timeline of the unfortunate instances in 2015 with local public health officials and gained more knowledge on the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease and its relationship to pneumonia. In the meantime, she said, staff was instructed to check residents' vital signs more frequently and residents were told informally that there was the risk of an infectious disease on the campus.

Frese then questioned if IDPH does not require water testing, only mandating a water management plan policy be in place, why if fact does Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Jeffries continue to test above and beyond the requirements. Jeffries said the goal was to not "incite hysteria or panic". "I say this recognizing full well that this is no comfort to the families of those who became sick or passed away and our hearts do and continue to go out to them".

"We cannot allow any more deaths or cases that result in the deaths of our veterans", McSweeney said, adding if necessary, Rauner could work with President Donald Trump for needed federal funds.

Others were more pointed with their criticism.

Senator Sam McCann, a Republican from Plainview, says the governor's response should have come long ago. The governor has defended his administration's handling of the outbreak, and his Twitter account on Tuesday repeated numerous arguments made by Shah and Jeffries during the hearing.

Legionnaires' disease is a big problem at the Quincy veterans home but it is not a problem right now at the La Salle veterans home. He's expected to leave the home Wednesday and speak to reporters, a spokeswoman said. She said care at the facility "was so good that (relatives) wanted their family members to stay there". He also laid out his long-term plans for addressing water safety concerns.

According to the CDC, people can contract Legionnaire's disease if they breathe in small droplets of water containing the bacteria legionella, which is found naturally in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams.

In 2016, two volunteers and three residents had symptoms of the disease. Thirteen residents have died at Quincy since 2015.

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego questioned Shah about the timeline of the announcement. Certainly, all of us want to use every precaution to make sure all of our residents living in our facilities get the premium service and care they deserve. "But it's because we care so much". "I have taken all my showers here, every day, in the showers here, I have drunken the water from the sinks here and other sources".

The CDC declared in a report last week that eliminating the bacteria from the home's water is unlikely.

Sitting alongside Shah and Jeffries during the almost four-hour hearing was Sam Posner, associate director for epidemiological science for the CDC. We must ensure this facility stays open.

Jefferies said another option is laying new water pipes along the old pipes to replace the aged infrastructure.

"This is an issue especially with Legionella, because of the persistence of Legionella that we have worked with at a number of sites over multiple years investigating cases", Posner said.

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